Reaching the Unreachable: Donated Vehicles Allow Salvaton Army to Expand Tornado Relief Operations
Ten military vehicles donated to The Salvation Army have arrived just in time for Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services personnel to begin making house visits to families in remote areas affected by a second round of heavy winds and tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area on Friday, May 31.
Off-road vehicle maker Polaris provided military ATV, Ranger, and RZR (“razor”) vehicles with tires that will help The Salvation Army cross terrain covered with debris and inaccessible to other vehicles to deliver food, water, and other essential supplies.
Two different styles of tires will help The Salvation Army in getting relief supplies and workers to survivors and first responders as quickly as possible. The Ranger vehicles are equipped with Run-Flat tires that are designed to resist deflation when punctured so that drivers can keep going without delay to change tires. The ATVs and RZRs feature non-pneumatic, honeycomb tires, which are built to never go flat at all.
The debris from destroyed homes and businesses is a significant hazard, and the Polaris vehicles are allowing The Salvation Army access to areas where canteens (mobile kitchens) cannot reach.
“Being able to reach families and deliver a warm meal is critical in the days following a disaster such as this, as people make salvaging personal items from their home a priority,” said Major Tom Louden, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services team.
Since May 19, 2013, The Salvation Army has provided 44,573 meals, 62,915 drinks, and 54,479 snacks, 22 Canteens (mobile feeding units), 3,619 Clean Up and 3,439 Comfort (hygiene) kits, and prayer with 7,115 persons. More than 11,823 hours have been logged by volunteers, employees and officers.
For the latest updates on The Salvation Army’s response to this disaster, there are many options to follow:
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.